TAMPA, FL. Great Dane Trailers has added an emergency roadside service offering to its one-year old AdvantEdge national account parts purchasing program – a program that’s free of charge to any fleet, regardless of size or whether they own Great Dane products or not, according to David Durand, the company’s vice president-aftermarket sales.

“There’s no subscription fee to join the AdvantEdge program, and only an administrative fee for placing the emergency roadside service calls,” he said during a press conference here at the 2012 Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting.

Durand added that Great Dane customers wanted a national parts program in order to consolidate invoices and gain standard pricing, yet also wanted an emergency roadside service option.

“When we rolled out the AdvantEdge program last year, we had a customer in Canada and California ask for this service to be included, so they could gain the same pricing protection and centralized billing benefit for roadside service too,” he said.

The roadside service portion is handled by Interstar North America, a firm that supplies 20,000 mobile technicians across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, under contract to Great Dane. AdvantEdge roadside service covers Class 7 and 8 tractors, some straight trucks in those classes, as well as trailers, refrigeration systems, tires and towing as well, Durand said.

“We’re not launching this service to compete with other national emergency roadside service providers, either,” he stressed. “We have no sales goals for this program. We’re simply offering it because our customers requested this service as part of the AdvantEdge program bundle.”

Durand told Fleet Owner that trailer aftermarket parts and service business has increased significantly since the downturn, so Great Dane developed this program to help its dealership and parts supplier network to gain from that uptick in demand.

“We’ve seen aftermarket parts demand increase 20% between 2009 and 2010, another 20% between 2010 and 2011, and still another 20% between 2011 and the start of this year,” he explained.

“Fleets are not only keeping their equipment longer now, they have to deal with the increasingly corrosive effect of snow removal chemicals such as magnesium chloride and the increased regulatory oversight of the CSA [Compliance, Safety, Accountability] program, which levies big fines in the case of lights being out and brake system issues,” Durand added. “That’s another reason we added the roadside service program, to help our fleet customers stay ahead of those issues.”